Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
We are celebrating the fourth Sunday of Easter, also called Good Shepherd Sunday. On this Sunday, the church invites us to pray for the increase in priestly vocations and ask the risen Jesus to provide us with shepherds according to His heart; let’s take a moment to ask the Supreme Shepherd to give us holy and wise priests. Through the shepherds, Christ gives His Word, distributes His grace in the sacraments, and leads the flock towards the Kingdom of Heaven. He gives Himself as nourishment in the sacrament of the Eucharist, imparts the Word of God and His Magisterium, and guides His people carefully. Jesus has procured for His Church shepherds according to His heart, that is, men who, through the sacrament of Holy Orders, represent Him and act as the “in persona Christi” men who give their lives for their sheep, with pastoral charity, with a humble spirit of service, with mercy, patience, and strength. Saint Augustine frequently spoke of this demanding responsibility of the pastor: “This honor as a pastor has me worried (…), but wherever the fact that I am for you terrifies me, I am consoled by the fact that I am among you (…). I am a bishop for you, and I am a Christian with you” (Saint Augustine Sermon, 176A). As parishioners and Christians, each of us work to make the kingdom of God grow in communion with our pastors, Pope Francis, and our Bishop Burbidge, successors of the apostles, and for this, we pray for them, we love them, and we obey them.
I want to congratulate, in a special way, all our second grade children from our school who received their First Holy Communion yesterday (Saturday, May 7th). For me, it is a special celebration because children are the future of the church and they have met Jesus for the first time in the Eucharist. I congratulate and thank Ms. Katherine Nguyen who has endeavored to educate the children in the faith and show them the way to heaven. In the same way, I invite all parents to continue educating their children in the faith.
Finally, I can’t forget that this Sunday is very special, because we celebrate Mother’s Day. Congratulations to all our mothers! I believe that we will never have enough words to thank them because a mother is a living representation of the love of God in each child. A mother always gives us life; she understands, educates, corrects, guides, forgives, and all for love. A mother is the greatest gift that God has given us. That is why on this day, we recognize that gift in all of them, and we pray that God protects them and keeps them always healthy and those who have already returned to the Father’s house, we commend them in our prayers. I congratulate all the mothers of Queen of the Apostles and commend them in my prayers. Hopefully, your children celebrate this day with you and love you more every day. Happy Mother’s Day!
Have a great week, may we continue to enjoy the joy of the risen Lord.